Campus Housing

San Luis Obispo, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,071 ($8,043)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Student

Campus Housing: I've enjoyed living in the dorms and getting housing on campus isn't hard. Living in the dorms really makes you see people and be social. You get to know your neighbors and most people in your hall. Hanging out in the common rooms is also a place to talk to people.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Cal Poly provides an average college dorm living situation.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The dorms are fairly close to campus, but the on-campus apartments aren't. People are all friendly, but there isn't much of a community consciousness.

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: University Housing does a wonderful job of trying to make an on-campus student's life as stress-free and fun-filled as possible. However, it is pretty darn pricey, and the interior of the buildings can be a little musty and gross at times.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The buildings are all pretty worn out, but you meet a lot of people and they're really close to everything! Every dorm has a certain reputation. Sierra Madre and Yosemite are the party dorms. The Red Bricks are the friendly, small dorms. North Mountain is antisocial. And Cerro is isolated.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 72nd
    Best Dorm Atmosphere
  • 534th
    Cleanest Dorms
  • 1156th
    Most Spacious Dorms
  • 1233rd
    Shortest Walk to Class

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Amy Herman
Burbank CA
Liberal Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

There are three main types of housing on campus: "Red Bricks" or South Mountain Halls, apartments (Cerro Vista or Poly Canyon), and "the Towers" (which are also known as Yosemite and Sierra Madre—collectively, the "Connections" towers). All are freshman housing, with the exception of Poly Canyon Village (PCV), which is reserved for second-year students and above. The Red Bricks are divided by college; there's one building for each of the six colleges. Roughly 70 percent of the students in each of the buildings are in the college associated with that particular building. For example, in the building associated with the College of Engineering, 30 percent of the students will be from any of the other five colleges. 

The apartments are mixed majors. The Honors College housing is located in Cerro Vista. Apartment-style living is the only housing with single rooms on campus. Yosemite and Sierra Madre are broken up into different special-interest housing groups. One tower is designated for music lovers, another for foodies, and a third for international interests. Each tower has a different theme. Living on campus is a must for a social life. Most of your friends will come from the hall you live in, and those late-night common-area chats about life and the universe will make your first year truly unique. It's not hard to find a group to go to dinner with or to keep you company in the library. The buildings are safe and clean, which is important, given the number of students who share such close quarters. Overall, living on campus is a necessary and enjoyable experience!

Facts & Statistics

On-Campus Housing Available?
Campus Housing Capacity
Average Housing Costs
Types of Housing Offered
  • Apartments for single students
  • Coed dorms
  • Special housing for disabled students
  • Special housing for international students
  • Theme housing
Undergrads Living On Campus
Freshmen Living On Campus
Number of Dormitories
Number of Campus-Owned Apartments
Best Freshman Dorms
  • South Mountain Halls
  • Yosemite Hall
Best Upperclassman Dorms
Poly Canyon Village
Worst Freshman Dorms
  • Cerro Vista Apartments
  • North Mountain Halls
Worst Upperclassman Dorms
  • Cerro Vista Apartments
  • Poly Canyon Village
Best Dorms
Sierra Madre
Worst Dorms
South Mountain
What You Get
  • Bed
  • Bookshelf
  • Cable TV jack
  • Closet
  • Desk and chair
  • Ethernet access
  • Free campus and local phone calls
  • Mini-fridge
  • Window coverings
Available for Rent
Did You Know?
The Living Learning Program is open to freshman students and features communities based on interests.

DormitoriesWhat's This?

North Mountain Halls (Diablo, Lassen, Palomar, Shasta, Whitney)
Floors: 2
Number of Occupants: 500–749
Bathrooms: Communal, suite
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen
Room Types: Doubles, triples
Special Features: Three laundry rooms, suite-style living, surrounding grass and picnic tables
Santa Lucia Hall
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 100–249
Bathrooms: Communal, suite
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: College of Engineering students often live here.
Sierra Madre Hall
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 500–749
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen
Room Types: Doubles
Special Features: Six community towers, laundry room, microwave on each floor, pingpong and pool table, TV lounge, small kitchen, study lounges
South Mountain Halls (Fremont, Muir, Santa Lucia, Sequoia, Tenaya, Trinity)
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 100–249
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen
Room Types: Doubles, triples
Special Features: Friendly atmosphere, two laundry rooms per hall, study rooms, TV lounge, pingpong and pool table, computer lab, Living Learning Program, each hall dedicated to a single college, allowing students with similar interests and career goals to live and interact with one another, opportunities for field trips, lectures from faculty and professionals on relevant subjects, and study groups
Yosemite Hall
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 500–749
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen
Room Types: Doubles
Special Features: Laundry room in each tower, microwave on each floor, pingpong and pool tables, TV lounge, small kitchen, great security, farthest from campus, meaning more privacy

Campus-Owned ApartmentsWhat's This?

Cerro Vista Apartments (Bishop, Cabrillo, Hollister, Islay, Morro, Romauldo)
Floors: 3
Number of Units: 250+
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Four-bedroom apartments (singles)
Special Features: Fully-furnished living room, kitchen with appliances, adaptable to ADA (American Disabilities Act) standards, beautiful hillshide setting with panoramic views of campus
Poly Canyon Village
Floors: 4–5
Number of Units: 250+
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Apartments (singles, doubles)
Special Features: Fully furnished living room, kitchen with appliances, beautiful scenic walks

Student Polls

Rate campus housing on the following subjects    Based on 132 responses

Very poor
  • Age of buildings
  • Amenities/perks
  • Cleanliness
  • Ease of housing process/lottery system
  • Proximity to classes
  • Resident community
  • Social atmosphere
  • Spaciousness
  • Strictness
  • Value



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